It’s like origami with clothes.

3 Dec

Look, I have no idea how to create and insert a poll on here, but if I did, it would ask the following:

  • When you encounter an inside-out shirt, do you turn it right-side out before donning it, or do you use the act of putting it on to turn it right-side out?
  • Follow-up: how would you categorize your gender identity?

I ask because I’m working on a theory, based on Alan’s look of confusion when I started to put on an inside-out shirt last week and reversed it during the act of pulling it over my head.

“Wait!” he cried. “Did you just put that shirt on inside-out?!”

I looked down at it. “No. It’s right-side out now.”

He shook his head, looking baffled. I shrugged and moved on.

But in the days since,  I’ve hatched a theory, which is this: Because most women learn to put a bra on upside down and backwards, we have hyper-developed spatial logic skills, making it easy to take a reversed piece of clothing and use the act of putting it on to set it correct.

What do you think? Am I onto something here, or was Alan just sleepy? Or am I stretching too much in my celebration of #girlpower?

Now seriously, please respond to my poll.

Also: someone actually made a how-to video, though I think most ladies will agree with me that his skill-level is pretty basic. Anyone worth her salt knows that if you lead with your arms, the effect is more magical and the head-hole follows automatically. No awkward fumbling to put the arms on later like he does. Check it out:

Something I didn’t think to be thankful for – until today.

29 Nov

There’s a quote that’s often attributed to Bob Dylan that goes something like, “Be grateful for what you don’t have that you don’t want.” I’ve always appreciated that twist on gratitude because when you think about it, we dodge a LOT of bullets in life.

This morning I was reminded of that quote shortly after Alan and I set out for a post-Thanksgiving walk. As we stepped out onto the street, the air smelled delicious, like someone was grilling a pile of hamburgers over an open flame, which is a bit odd for 10am on a Friday. I speculated that it was probably the bar down the alley behind my place, which often smokes brisket on its back patio on game days. Alan, unwilling to take my word for it (and perpetually curious), decided to investigate.

So I stood on the sidewalk, patiently waiting while he walked down the alley. I saw him approach the pub’s patio and pull himself up to the tall wooden fence, trying to look over. And then I saw him slowly moonwalk away from the fence, dragging his left foot as if he’d survived polio, until he got to a pile of leaves. Then he started wiping and stamping both feet. Clearly he’d stepped in something.

As he approached me with a grimace, I asked, “Did you step in dog poop?”

He shook his head, looking shell-shocked. “More like human poop.” He paused. “That was clearly a homeless person’s bathroom. Don’t ask me how I know.”

I nodded, shoved my hands down in my pockets, and silently gave thanks for NOT being ruled by my curiosity for once and NOT having to contemplate burning my sneakers on Black Friday. And with that, we walked away, one foot dragging with every step.

#gratitude

It’s time to NOT talk turkey!

28 Nov
Screen Shot 2019-11-28 at 5.39.42 AM

My friend Marcy texted this to me. She knows I hate the word moist.

For the first time in ages (maybe ever?), it’s just Alan and me for Thanksgiving this year, and I have to say, while I usually enjoy holidays being about family, this year it feels wonderful to just take a time out for the two of us. We’ve both had hectic falls, and between my work trip to LA and his two weeks in Michigan hunting, we barely saw each other this month.

So how do we plan to celebrate since we’re not tethered to others’ expectations? Well, for starters, we haven’t even asked ourselves the question that most people probably discussed ad nauseam yesterday: what time will we eat? Because the answer (whenever we feel hungry) doesn’t really matter when you’re only coordinating two people.

Also? We’ve totally scrapped the traditional menu. I’m not a big fan of turkey, and while I enjoy the side dishes (specifically: mashed potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes), I make them all regularly, so they don’t feel like a special treat to get all excited about. Fortunately, Alan’s easy-going and also a bit of a foodie, so he was totally game for a menu overhaul.

Here’s what we landed on: whole roasted branzini, lemon risotto, and a shaved brussel sprout salad. I’ve never roasted a whole fish with its head on before, and Alan’s never made proper risotto from scratch, so today’s focus on food is more on experimentation than it is on eating. (Which is probably a good thing, since we might end up ordering a pizza if our experiments go sideways.)

[Ethical side note: when people say they don’t eat anything that had a mother, does fish count? To my knowledge, they just lay eggs and abandon them, so I’m including them in my guilt-free column because I’m judgmental and that’s not very maternal.]

Food aside, the other benefit of it being just US: we can stay in our pajamas all day. No dressing up and making ourselves presentable. No posing for family photos. Just us in pjs with Miss Moneypenny and a fire. And since I’m a nerd, we’ll be working on the second installment of “Hunt a Killer” (a monthly mystery box) at some point during the day, because nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like discussing crime and naming the criminal.

I guess in that sense – talking about criminals – our holiday won’t be that different from most Americans this year. We just won’t be arguing about it.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Pool rhymes with fool. Coincidence?

20 Nov
underwater-photography-of-swimmer-711187

Photo by Sabrina Schulz from Pexels

The year I turned 40, I celebrated by logging over 100 miles in a pool. Not all at once, but over the course of the year. (I know, not nearly as impressive, but c’mon – when did YOU last swim 100 miles?!) I wasn’t a daily swimmer, so I’d hit the pool twice a week and knock out a mile each time. I enjoyed the routine because it was both a form of meditation and reflection and it kept my waistline in check without much effort.

So when’s the last time I swam a mile? Um, probably the year I turned 40. Sadly, I abandoned the habit shortly after I hit 100 miles. I can’t remember the TOP reason I stopped, but I do know it was some combination of the following:

  • I stopped my gym membership to rejoin a yoga studio.
  • I started growing my hair out and was tired of it breaking in my cap and getting discolored from the chlorine.
  • I heard a story about how much pee is likely in a public swimming pool.
  • And then I saw a study that said most people getting in a pool have a nickel-sized dollop of poop on them. Yeah.

Actually, now that I review this list, I’m pretty confident that the final bullet point was the catalyst for my abandoning the pool. I mean, I kind of just dry-gagged just typing it.

And yet – I decided to get back in the pool last week. Maybe I’ve gotten more comfortable with human waste (I haven’t) or maybe it’s that my clothes are fitting too tightly (they are), but for whatever reason, I decided to get back in the pool. 

So here are my observations after a 5+ year hiatus: 

  • I can no longer swim a mile without stopping. That shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. A good reminder that if I want to be able to do something at 90, I better not stop doing it now!
  • Miraculously, my suit still fit, but I think that’s mainly because the elastic is shot. While doing the breaststroke I had to look down to make sure I wasn’t *literally* doing the breaststroke – the top of my suit was so loose it felt like I was swimming topless.
  • I still managed to lap someone (who even got in the water after I did!), which made me wonder when she had last been in a pool.
  • Someone had spilled Chewy Mini SweetTarts in the pool and:
    • It was recently enough that they still retained their color;
    • They were on the bottom of the pool – I was surprised they don’t float; and
    • It was a confirmation that children regularly (and recently) use the pool and don’t respect the rules, which means they are probably ALSO peeing in it and NOT showering the nickel-sized dollop of poop off their butts before entering.

So now I’m at a crossroads:

  • Do I go all Sheryl Sandberg and “lean in,” knowing that this form of exercise likely entails ingesting poop? (And yes, this metaphor actually works on a lot of levels – she’s currently defending Facebook for not taking measures to prevent election interference, so…)
  • Or do I throw in the towel on swimming?

Stay tuned.

Go on, sniff my hair – it’s delicious!

10 Nov
Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 2.29.38 PM

From the LUSH website.

When I travel, I take a bar of LUSH shampoo with me. That way I don’t need to use the hotel shampoo, which keeps one piece of single use plastic out of a landfill or – just as likely – the ocean. The added bonus is that LUSH products smell delicious and lather up like a beast. The only (potential) problem? The shampoo bar I like has all kinds of seeds and fibers imbedded in it. I’m not sure exactly what purpose they serve, but…

…When I rinse my hair it often looks as if I’ve just used my hands to toss a quinoa bowl, which isn’t exactly what you’re looking for out of a shower. Kitchen? Yes. Shower? No.

…I fear that if I don’t rinse my hair well, I’ll become a walking bird feeder, doomed to a fate similar to Tippi Hedren’s. I imagine having to windmill my arms to fend off a flock of hungry sparrows.

…I wonder if I’m clogging up the plumbing by sending these seeds down the drain. And for the seeds that end up in the bottom of the shower and don’t go down the drain – what does the housekeeping staff think?

…On the positive side, in a survival scenario, I’m 80% confident I could eat my shampoo for the nutrients.

Are you sold?